Anna questions AAP’s funding, Kejriwal says it is all above board

With questions being raised on the funding of AAP for the coming Delhi assembly election, social activist Anna Hazare had also sought clarification from party leader Arvind Kejriwal over the matter. The social reformer from Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra, who was invited to the national capital by Kejriwal in 2011 to launch a movement to demand ombudsman bill, has asked the AAP chief to clarify whether the funds they raised for India Against Corruption (the movement for ombudsman bill) have been used by his newly-formed party. The letter from Hazare in this context was received on Sunday night.

Kejriwal, in reply to Anna’s letter, said at the press conference on Monday that the funds raised during the massive anti-corruption campaign fronted by Hazare had not been spent on his party’s campaign for the Delhi elections. He said that if he is found guilty, he will not contest the coming election. However, Kejriwal detractor wanted to know how could this be established either way in such a short time when polls were just a fortnight away.

The press conference had some heated moments as an alleged BJP worker threw black ink at Kejriwal alleging he had misused Hazare’s name. The man, identified as Nachiketa Walnekar, created a ruckus and was then bundled away by Aam Aadmi Party activists. The letter received by Kejriwal on Sunday night had Hazare asking AAP leader if funds were being misused as he had received several complaints in this context. ‘I have told him that he should ask for an inquiry by any former judge,’ said Kejriwal. He also clarified that Rs 23 lakh meant for the Lokpal movement had been spent on the movement itself and no money from the donations had been spent on the campaign of the party.

Kejriwal was Anna’s main aid during his agitation in 2011 for Jan Lokpal Bill to investigate corruption by elected representatives. Anna held a 16-day fast in Delhi in August 2011, drawing large crowds and donations. The movement later petered out. In 2012, Anna said he could not support Kejriwal’s decision to form a party and contest elections. Kejriwal said it is impossible ‘to clean up the system without
entering it.'
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